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Goal Setting in Retirement?
Old 12-30-2020, 03:55 PM   #1
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Goal Setting in Retirement?

I like to do my final review at the end of each year as to how financially I performed relative to the goals I set for myself the year before, and thus, set new goals for the next 12 months. This has worked great during the accumulation years as I was stashing away dough and was generating income with the overall goal of growing my net worth year after year. There was a definite sense of measurable accomplishment, especially when I met/surpassed the goal posts set. Now, as I transition over to the withdrawal side, I am stuck scratching my head wondering what goal setting should look like for my finances and what I really should be measuring?

- Making sure my WR is less than __%?
- Making sure my expenses do not exceed budget?
- See my net worth still grow by some %?

While working and saving, it has always felt like I had allot more control of my measured success (i.e. work harder and make more $$ to help hit goals).
No longer having my super powers puts me at the will of Mr. Market and my planned spend/WR, so not sure how much control I have on my "financial goals" for the next 12 months... and should I even have any at this point since I hit the desired FI number?

How do you measure a successful 12 month run in retirement year after year?
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Old 12-30-2020, 04:12 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by DawgMan View Post
How do you measure a successful 12 month run in retirement year after year?
62, retired 14 years

#1 Health - Meeting weight, blood pressure, blood sugar goals (B- this year)

#2 Financial (used to be #1) - Increasing dividend generation without compromising on quality (A this year - volatility is my friend). I chose this because I have much more control than over a net worth #.

#3 Travel & entertainment - New places, old favorites, new experiences (D- this year)
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Old 12-30-2020, 04:27 PM   #3
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62, retired 14 years

#1 Health - Meeting weight, blood pressure, blood sugar goals (B- this year)

#2 Financial (used to be #1) - Increasing dividend generation without compromising on quality (A this year)

#3 Travel & entertainment - New places, old favorites, new experiences (D- this year)
Like your list and agree with health bumping to #1. I suppose I was wondering if many really had "financial" goals once retired (other than the obvious to fund their retirement... maybe that's enough?) and if they still measured it year after year or if it just became a fading irrelevant endeavor?

None the less, I like to concept of shifting away from measuring financial success year after year with a balance sheet to measuring the "fun" index and over all personal health. You got nothing without your health!
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Old 12-30-2020, 05:22 PM   #4
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Like your list and agree with health bumping to #1. I suppose I was wondering if many really had "financial" goals once retired (other than the obvious to fund their retirement... maybe that's enough?) and if they still measured it year after year or if it just became a fading irrelevant endeavor?

I agree with the health part. Gaining a lot more money in retirement matters little if your health is not good. That is also my #1 priority.

My only other goal, in truth, is "be content with what you have". I already had more than over 90% of the population, and I no longer have to work for it. So I try to be a good steward with it while I enjoy. I am content with below market gains, taking less financial risks, avoiding "if you are not beating the market you are a loser, we can help make you a winner!" schemes, etc. I have no need to think about maximizing what we leave to our heirs - they will already receive plenty.
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Old 12-30-2020, 05:31 PM   #5
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I was the slave to objectives and goals in my 36 years of employment. We would do inhuman tasks and somehow meet those goals only to be given substantially higher goals for the next year. And we were miserable at the end of months, quarters and especially the end of the calendar year.

So when I retired, I retired from goals and objectives. I do watch my financial accounts somewhat, but prefer to go by AA and choose good rated equities that are essentially on cruise control.
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Old 12-30-2020, 05:36 PM   #6
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How do you measure a successful 12 month run in retirement year after year?
Health - I have some exercise / weight/ healthy eating goals

Financial - Measure WR and expenses

Fun - Don't really have a hobbies goal, but I try to spend most of day with my hobbies. I frequently look back to make sure that I'm spending most of my day playing. Same with travel - no goals, but look back to make sure I'm getting enough trips in. If not, then I plan a trip.
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Old 12-30-2020, 05:49 PM   #7
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I set no goals in retirement.
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Old 12-30-2020, 05:55 PM   #8
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I think you have to be careful with some financial goals. Spending/WR are within your control for the most part, so that's ok. But trying to grow your NW might cause you to do foolish things. If the market is down, or interest rates are low, are you going to chase risky stocks or bonds to try to hit your goal? I'm mostly an index investor and the market will do what the market does. My goal is to stick to my investment plan and asset allocation targets.

I have a friend who is very goal oriented. He says he tries to do something towards each of four areas every day. I can't remember exactly what it is, but it's something like health/exercise, intellectual, social, and I can't even think of the 4th one, maybe it had to do with his family, or maybe it's spiritual. I think he even keeps a journal.
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Old 12-30-2020, 06:07 PM   #9
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I do have one goal though, but it's one I've had and strived for my whole life.

"To have as much fun as possible"
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Old 12-30-2020, 06:07 PM   #10
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I just do the best I can do every year. I do what I think is the best thing to do for me in any given year. But I do not have any goals.
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Old 12-30-2020, 06:43 PM   #11
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I do have one goal though, but it's one I've had and strived for my whole life.

"To have as much fun as possible"
+1! I once had a friend who said "I just want to have fun". I tried to make it my mantra, but doing so is harder than it appears, as this FIRE concept requires sacrifice up front for most. Later when I mentioned the quote, he said he didn't remember it, and that he had said if offhandedly. Sadly, he died in his 30s due to an infection. He did have fun up until then, though!
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Old 12-30-2020, 07:13 PM   #12
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I've said it so many times I've been accused of being a girl.

"Girls just wanna have fun" - Cyndi Lauper
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Old 12-30-2020, 07:16 PM   #13
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Dawg Man, your questions about measurement (after retirement) made me smile. I actually tried to make a list and embarrassedly it looked like what you described! Ive been retired for 2 years under what you call "Fat Fire" and like you Ive been focused primarily on the numbers and unfortunately neglected the less financial matters (like expanding personal relationships). My advice, let the financials take care of themself once you become FI (you did the homework, made the decisions, saved the $, and put a plan in place.) Now focus more on those beautiful children and grandkids you mention in prior post.
Suddenly....one day you wake up and what matters most are 1) your health 2) your family 3) friends 4) your happiness. Now, if you can figure a way to measure the growth in those areas then that would take us all in a new direction.

Go Dawgs!
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Old 12-30-2020, 07:17 PM   #14
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I was the slave to objectives and goals in my 36 years of employment. We would do inhuman tasks and somehow meet those goals only to be given substantially higher goals for the next year. And we were miserable at the end of months, quarters and especially the end of the calendar year.

So when I retired, I retired from goals and objectives. I do watch my financial accounts somewhat, but prefer to go by AA and choose good rated equities that are essentially on cruise control.
+1000
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Old 12-30-2020, 08:27 PM   #15
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I was the slave to objectives and goals in my 36 years of employment. We would do inhuman tasks and somehow meet those goals only to be given substantially higher goals for the next year. And we were miserable at the end of months, quarters and especially the end of the calendar year.

So when I retired, I retired from goals and objectives. I do watch my financial accounts somewhat, but prefer to go by AA and choose good rated equities that are essentially on cruise control.
+1. As long as my dividends and interest are greater than my expenses, and my WR is <3ish%, I donít feel the need to complicate it any further by trying to squeeze an extra basis point lower on my WR or expenses. At first, I had a budget to which I compared actuals, but I havenít done that for a while because I havenít really needed to. But yes, accomplishing inhuman feats only to be given targets that are even more inhuman smarts after a while in the morale department.
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Old 12-31-2020, 02:51 AM   #16
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...when I retired, I retired from goals and objectives. ...
+1
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Old 12-31-2020, 03:36 AM   #17
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I still monitor my financial goals, but it's more of an exercise in maintenance than one of achieving more.

Like others, health and family are higher on the list. Having enough money is dropping down on the list of priorities. Figuring out what to do with more than enough money is rising on the list. Realistically that means focusing on trying to prepare my kids for the money they're likely to get so that they have a healthy understanding and relationship with it and can apply it to their lives in a good way. So I think a lot about the lessons I want to try to pass on, and how and when to share those so that they'll want to listen.
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Old 12-31-2020, 06:18 AM   #18
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I do have one goal though, but it's one I've had and strived for my whole life.

"To have as much fun as possible"
Robbie, what about your other goal? Blow that dough!
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Old 12-31-2020, 06:47 AM   #19
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I'm in the Bamaman camp. I was talented at coming up with good BS for annual goal setting, and new mission, vison, and values (or whatever the current equivalent was) about once per presidential cycle. But I hated those exercises almost as much as annual performance reviews. Not for me in retirement. I was invited to be on the board of a nonprofit that I am a member and volunteer with. I felt ambivalent until I learned the first thing we would do was a weekend retreat to develop a mission, vision, and values statement. No, no, no!
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Old 12-31-2020, 07:41 AM   #20
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In retirement “success” is perhaps measured by how much fun I had.

But I don’t think much about measuring or success. That I thankfully left behind with my career.

For annual financial goals, I simply withdraw a fixed % of the Dec 31 portfolio value at the beginning of Jan and put it into short-term accounts. I deliberately selected an investment setup that can pretty much run on autopilot with annual rebalancing. My goal once retired was to be able to spend minimal time on investing.

I do have a rough budget, but our annual withdrawal has far exceeded it for a long time now, so I don’t battle expenses, just observe them.

I don’t have net worth growth as a goal any longer. We’ve set up allocation and withdrawal rates such that our portfolio survival should be ensured (knock on wood). I’m delighted if our net worth keeps up with inflation, but it’s not necessary and we will go through periods where it does not, as we have in the past.

Some years we set additional gifting goals to meet.

P.S. you must not be experiencing brain fog based on your OP. I hope you are definitely on the mend.
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